2005 Aldo Conterno "Romirasco" Barolo (Elsewhere $142)

SKU #1115137 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2005 Barolo Romirasco is a regal, aristocratic wine that embodies everything a great Barolo should be. The wine reveals awesome density and richness in layers of deeply spiced, mentholated dark fruit, flowers and minerals that continue to emerge from the glass in a never-ending display of sheer elegance and class. This is one of the few truly complete, multi-dimensional wines of the vintage. Today the wine comes across as exceedingly young, and some bottle age is essential in order to enjoy the wine at its very finest. This is a gem from Aldo Conterno. Based on the well-deserved success of the 2004 the estate has decided to bottle a small amount of the Romirasco in each vintage, something Barolo lovers should be thrilled about. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030.  (4/ 2009)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good deep, dark red. Spicy aromas of black fruits, fresh herbs, licorice and minerals. Large-scaled, broad and rich, with superb depth of flavor and sweetness leavened by terrific energy. Impressively concentrated wine with atypical density and primary fruit character for the year. Finishes powerful and gripping but perfumed, with tongue-saturating tannins and terrific lift. The other 2005 Barolos were bottled in the summer of 2008 but this got an extra three months in used 25- to-70-hectoliter barrels. There will also be a small quantity of 2005 Gran Bussia but that wine will not be released for at least two more years.  (12/ 2009)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Blackberry and blueberry aromas, with light vanilla and floral character, lead to a full-bodied palate, with very sweet fruit and chewy tannins. Turns to a real mouthful. A beautiful single-vineyard wine. Best after 2011.  (7/ 2009)

K&L Notes

"Aldo Conterno is back," writes Wine Advocate's Antonio Galloni. "After a period of inconsistent wines ...Conterno once again takes its place among the region's top producers. Today the estate is run by Aldo Conterno's three sons Giacomo, Franco and Stefano Conterno who look after vineyards, marketing, and winemaking respectively. Based on the wines I have tasted recently this venerable property looks to be in great hands for the future...The 2005 Barolos represent a new point of arrival after the estate embarked on a major rethinking of its work in the vineyards in the late 1990s, which involved among other things shorter winter pruning (designed to lower yields naturally) and a greater amount of attention to canopy management...These gorgeous, uplifting 2005 Barolos firmed up quite a bit in the glass, suggesting they are headed for a slumber that hopefully won't last too long, as the wines are truly special. Stylistically the wines are made in the medium-bodied style that is characteristic of the 2005 Barolos, but offer terrific harmony and drinkability." (04/2009)

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Varietal:

Nebbiolo

- Tar and roses are the two descriptors most associated with this red grape grown, almost solely, in Italy's Piedmont, where it has achieved fame under the guises of the incredibly and age-worthy wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Characterized by chewy tannins, high acidity, high-tone cherry and raspberry fruit and truffle aromas and flavors, Nebbiolo has rightfully earned its reputation. Sadly the late-ripening varietal is quite delicate and is prone to disease as well as damage by hail that frequently pelts the region. Outside of Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo is grown in the DOCs of Gattinara, Spanna and Ghemme. The Nebbiolos of the Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC in the southeastern part of Piedmont are generally lighter and more immediately approachable versions of the grape, aged for less time than Barolo and Barbaresco, which also makes them less expensive. Langhe Nebbiolos are generally made from declassified fruit from the aforementioned regions of Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo d'Alba.
Country:

Italy

- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.
Sub-Region:

Piedmont

- Piedmont is in the Northwestern region of Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Piedmont is predominantly a plain where the water flows from the Swiss and French Alps to form the headwaters of the Po river. The major wine producing areas are in the southern portion of the region in the hills known as the "Langhe". Here the people speak a dialect that is 1/3 French and 2/3 Italian that portrays their historical roots. Their cuisine is one of the most creative and interesting in Italy. Nebbiolo is the King grape here, producing Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, the Barbera and Dolcetto are the workhorse grapes that produce the largest quantity of wine. Piedmont is predominantly a red wine producing area. There are a few whites made in Piedmont, and the Moscato grape produces a large volume of sweet, semi-sweet and sparkling wines as well.
Specific Appellation:

Barolo

- Made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes, these wines take their name from the village of Barolo. A maximum of 205,000 cases per year can be made from 3081 acres of land divided between 11 communes and more than 1200 growers. La Morra, Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Monforte and Serralunga are the most important communes and produce most of the exported wine. Barolo is a powerhouse wine in some communes but also more delicate in others (La Morra is the most delicate and Serralunga the most powerful). Recent technological and viticultural advances are remaking Barolo into a wine that is more consistent balanced. Producers here do not want to change the flavor or feel of their wines, only improve and eliminate poor winemaking technique. A wine of great perfume, body and size the classic nose of "tar and roses". Barolo is best served with roast meats the Piemontese classic would be "Stracotto del Barolo or pot roast cooked with a Barolo, game birds or powerful cheese.